Posted by: David Vernon | December 29, 2010

Project Double Take #12 – Film

Ahhh Project Double Take. We barely knew yah.

Today’s presentation – an oddball in and of itself – brings the process of Project Double Take to an end. Stacy and I created this yearlong project as an excuse to make us go out and shoot more landscapes – on a deadline – and on a variety of topics. And it succeeded wonderfully. At times it was a little painful – finding something that not only met the requirements of the topic and of the layout of the image (vertical, horizontal, etc.) – but then finding the time to go out and execute it in what for me was a very busy year. But the pain is always a part of the process when too many other things in life intercede and so you learn to ignore that and work around it – and you just go out and shoot. And so we did.

And why, after 28 other presentations are we drifting back into the middle of the pack with PDT #12? Well – it’s because this little demon of a project was a stretch for us and we didn’t finish it on time. But finish it we finally did. Stacy and I are both heavily digital shooters. We shoot almost all of our work with the same camera in fact – a Nikon D300 – well-developed in this age that is in fact so very digital. The idea behind this specific project was to go analog – to pick up our dusty film cameras and push some film through them – for better or worse. We even gave ourselves a month to do it originally – but the shifting modes of film processing kicked both our butts.

On my side, I managed to shoot my images on time – it was the processing that slowed me down. I have a lovely Pentax 67 – a medium-format camera that looks like a regular SLR on steroids. I took it with me along with five rolls of ancient and expired 220 slide film when I went to Yellowstone back in June. Shot some 60 images with it and came back just days before it was due to find out that no one locally could process the film in less than 10-15 days. “Ummm Stacy – I’m gonna be late with this one,” were the first words I told Ms. Hanna after I got that news. “Good,” she said. “Good.” (but more on that in a moment). Much to my wife’s consternation I have a large box in the fridge full of rolls of film. When I shot for my previous employer in Peoria, they decided to part with their remaining stock of 120/220 film, having also been digital for years. I ended up with some of it as it was simply heading for the trash. It’s all at least 5-6 years old at this time and there’s nothing like the look of expired film – you just never know exactly what you will get – and that’s definitely part of the fun of things. So I often walked up to sites in Yellowstone with two cameras over my shoulders – and these bison – seen along the route from Canyon to Lake Valley in lovely Hayden Valley – were my chosen victims. I shot this on a lovely day, with a 3-stop grad ND filter darkening the sky somewhat, while these guys ate along the side of the road. Finding bison in Yellowstone has to be one of the easiest things to do. Photographing them just so however takes a little more work. In the end, I got the positives back and got them scanned about two weeks after the deadline – but I had it easy compared to Stacy.

Stacy shot her roll of 35mm film a few months ago and then she went a route for processing that we were both curious about – she used Mpix’s lab to do the chore. And almost her entire roll of film was unusable. We believe the camera she was using had a light leak which destroyed almost her entire roll. So she trucked back out sometime later with a different camera (a Minolta QTsi – old school) and just got it done – shooting a nice roll of images on Kodak Ektar 100 at Jubilee College State Park. The entire story is over on her blog – so check it out to see how much pain this really caused her.

And as I said – this draws PDT to a close. We had a blast shooting 29 projects in about 48 weeks. But even more fun was involving other people in the project. We created a group on flickr for PDT – and a total of 25 other folks participated to some extent – creating their own images right along side ours during each project. A total of 167 images ended up in the pool. Some played along more than other (and kudos to Maria Boy who did almost every single project right along with us – and I suspect will do them all before she gives up) but we really did appreciate every image submitted.

And believe it or not, Stacy and I have some future ideas on PDT – so after we decide how committed we are (our should be) – we’ll be back with some more news. Until then – we’ll keep shooting and we’ll urge you to keep shooting too. Good luck in 2011!

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